Steve Frank for GOP Chairman

 

 

 

By Richard Eber 

It does not take a cardio specialist to tell us that the Republican Party of California these days is barely holding on in life support mode.  Presently, there is not one individual holding a State elected post from Governor on down in Sacramento who admits belonging to the GOP.

In both the houses in the legislature, it is seldom necessary for one of the Progressive leaders in these bodies to consult with one of their conservative colleagues to pass a bill. In most cases the GOP contingency does hold the minimum one third plus 1 threshold to stop a budget or new taxes.

At the present time 99% of the population cannot name one Republican leader in the capital. This total has even become smaller of late with the passing of George Deukmejian who hasn’t held office in over 28 years. 

In a column several months ago I remarked the State Party in taking credit for Donald Trump’s victory in 2016 is like the Captain of the Titanic expecting high fives for not colliding with a coral reef. Indicative of this is that five years ago the GOP had a one million lead on decline to state voters; now DTS has  83,000 more registered than Republicans.

 With this sad state of affairs why would anyone want to succeed Jim Brulte to head the GOP as its next Chairman?  Can anyone put life in a once proud party that brought forth the Reagan Revolution less than 50 years ago?

There is one such individual with the background, experience and energy to accomplish this feat.  His name is Steve Frank.  He has been a GOP warrior since being a teenager working as a volunteer for the Barry Goldwater Presidential campaign in 1964.  Since then Frank put in a stint as a soldier in Vietnam and has been involved electing Republican candidates ever since

Frank does not think a makeover of Republican values is necessary to attract new voters and bring former members back in the fold. Instead he suggests. “We need to promote our brand–freedom, equal rights, a colorblind society, and belief in the individual, not government. “

A special target group for him is millennials who comprise a big piece of electoral clout in California. Presently a vast majority of them are Democratic or declines to state. Frank believes this group can be successfully recruited because  “Millennials want what everyone else wants:  a great economy–low taxes, less government causing the ability of companies to create jobs, public safety and great education that prepares for jobs and life, not rallies and riots. We can provide this for them.”

To Frank these are not empty words as he has over his career been a grass roots organizer for conservative causes, including recent work with the Tea Party movement in California. Making such shallow promises is not part of his mental makeup.

A major concern for the office of State Chairman has always been the ability to raise funds for Republican candidates running for office from local elections up to Washington D.C.  To do so the State Party in recent years has relied on large donors.  Frank wants to change this stodgy approach and do an active outreach to supporters on all levels.

Instead, he  would like  to broaden the financial base to include the middle class–the same folks that donated $2.5 million, at $37 a pop, to help finance the effort to repeal SB 1–the gas tax, now known as Yes on Prop. 6 in this election cycle.

To do this, Frank intends on putting out a weekly newsletter to GOP supporters that discusses issues from around the State and the progress being made to address them.  He desires to build coalitions of interested parties as an intricate aspect of the fundraising process to get more people personally involved.

Improving Communications with the public is an intricate part of his plans.  This is Frank’s specialty as he is editor of California Political News and Views and makes approximately 50 speeches a year to local organizations with conservative commentaries on issues of the day.”  In addition he appears on numerous radio political talk shows around the state including Andy Caldwell in Santa Barbara and Brian Sussman in San Francisco.

Voter registration is of particular importance to Frank’s plans should he become Chairman. “We need to educate people of what principles we stand for” He is confident “once people know our views on limited government, real social justice and promotion of economic prosperity, voters will be proud to join our ranks.”

Frank thinks for him to be successful as Republican State Party Chairman, he must work to connect the dots that have been missing in previous years. In his mind:

The California Republican Party consists of three distinct parts: the legislators, the donors and the grassroots. Each is needed to assure maximum action and victory. If we are to win elections, it will take all three stakeholders working together, therefore legislators, donors “and grassroots must be at the table making the decision on policy and get out the vote strategies.”

Steve Frank summarizes his plans as a “back to basics for California Republican Party.  While it is ambitious in scope, it is important that his vision of the rebirth of the GOP will also benefit Democrats who have little visible opposition in implementing their leftist Golden State.

As a result of this disparity of strength, there are checks and balances missing from what are needed for democracy to work.  Those principles were very much a part of the US Constitution, inserted by Founders who feared one group of individuals having a monopoly of power.  Such concern led to the separation of powers between the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of government.

Such balance is missing in California where the Democratic Party holds soup to nuts authority at all levels of government.  Steve Frank’s plans are to change this cozy relationship and create some balance in the decision making undertaken by the Governor, legislature, and various agencies.

He believes  that “his can and will happen with a joint effort of the three stakeholders. The donors, the legislators and grassroots in a joint focused effort are a winning ticket. Failure to have all three intimately involved in leadership means more struggle and it be harder to win elections.”

Good luck Steve.  It ain’t going to be easy.

Richard Eber studied journalism at the University of Oregon. He writes about politics, culture, education restaurants, and was former city and sports editor of UCSB Daily. Richard is president of Amerasa Rapid Transit, a specialized freight forwarder.


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